Friday, November 14, 2008

Little Bird, Little Bird

From Wednesday crafting. . . my little primitive bird ornament. After making several mistakes, I learned a lot from making this one. Hopefully, the next ones will be a little easier to make and have fewer glitches!

On Monday, my principal started out staff meeting by asking us to reflect on the best learning experience that we have ever had. While I can think of many, the one that I shared with my small group was teaching myself how to knit socks, but it could have been teaching myself how to knit. period. I made so many mistakes, and I often got frustrated trying to figure out exactly how to make some maneuver work. But, in the end, I was so proud of the final product-- imperfections and all. I did it! All by myself! And, most importantly, I enjoyed the process of figuring it out (even if I said a few "less than desirable words" along the way)!

It was amazing how many staff members related stories about enjoying the challenge of a learning situation. Making mistakes was vital to the final sense of achievement and acquisition of knowledge or experience. I worry, sometimes, that our education systems shirk away from the process of trial and error to focus on the end-results of "right answers" for good grades and high test scores. As the art teacher at my daughter's school constantly reminds students who get frustrated when they make mistakes, "There are no mistakes in ART, only happy accidents."

In learning, any mistake can be the doorway through which one may walk towards increased knowledge and improvement. I like that I don't have to do something perfectly the first time and that I can always learn to do something better by paying attention, thinking through the process, and trying again.

In progress. . . a preview of the banner I'm working on for the back door. . .

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